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"The point is that all these people out here, looting, robbing, killing, they're the people who wash your car, who pour your coffee, who take out your trash. And what happened the moment the lights went out? They showed their true faces... Face it kid, Gotham has no heroes."
Jerome Valeska to Bruce Wayne

"Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" is the fourteenth episode of the third season of Gotham. It aired on January 30, 2017.


With Jerome on the loose with one target in mind, Bruce and Alfred's safety is compromised. Meanwhile, Gordon's uncle Frank pays him a visit, and Nygma and Penguin are forced to confront their issues face-to-face, with potentially deadly consequences.[3]


Following the power outage, the GCPD is filled with criminals while the police officers attempt to arrest the criminals. Meanwhile, Cobblepot and his henchmen arrive at a warehouse and find Nygma waiting there. Nygma kills the henchmen and shows Cobblepot Isabella's wrecked car to reveal that he knows his involvement in her death.

Kathryn and a Court member discuss the events that are happening on Gotham with the member telling her to give the GCPD a chance although she is doubtful of his faith on "him". With the lights not coming back until the next day, Gordon and Bullock discuss Jerome's next move and remember that he talked with Lee and discover that he is planning to kill Bruce. Nygma ties Cobblepot to Isabella's car, prompting Cobblepot to confess that he killed Isabella and did for his love for him. Nygma also puts a cauldron of corrosive acid tied to a chained big piece of ice so when the ice melts, the acid will kill Cobblepot.

Bruce and Alfred are attacked at Wayne Manor by Jerome and his followers, who destroys the owl statue. Jerome takes Bruce and orders the followers to kill Alfred. Gordon arrives just in time to kill the followers and save Alfred. Jerome takes Bruce to a boardwalk circus where the citizens are used as game attractions for the followers' amusement. Jerome kills one of his followers and uses his blood to draw a face on Bruce's mouth. Meanwhile, Cobblepot manages to break free when a police officer helps him. He returns to Dahl Manor and is taken by Butch and Tabitha.

Jerome has Bruce tied to a post in order to close the event with a "boom" and has a canon filled with a cannonball and knives in order to kill him. Gordon, Alfred and Bullock arrive and fight the followers while Jerome ignites the cannon. In the last second, Bruce frees himself and flees while Jerome follows him. Barbara tells Cobblepot that if he wants to live, he needs to call Nygma in order to kill him. However, Cobblepot realizes that love involves the sacrifice and discovers that he ruined Nygma's happiness for his and decides to die instead of calling. Nygma appears, revealing that he wanted him to die so he can see that he can't truly love anyone but is clearly moved by Cobblepot's statement that he can.

Bruce escapes into a house of mirrors while Jerome follows him there. They fight in one of the rooms when Bruce gets the upper hand and brutally beats Jerome, disfiguring him. At Jerome's goading, Bruce takes a shard of glass to kill him but at the last moment, decides not to kill him. He leaves and reunites with Alfred. Jerome gets up and tries to attack Bruce, but is subdued by Gordon, who knocks off his face. Jerome is then arrested and taken to Arkham Asylum with his face being placed back. In Wayne Manor, Bruce tells Alfred about what happened and how he felt that what he did was justice. Alfred states the rules he cannot break and Bruce vows to never kill. Meanwhile, Kathryn talks with a now-brainwashed Five for their new purposes. When Five gets concerned, the Court member replies that he will go with someone to join them as "no one refuses the Court". He visits Gordon, revealing himself to be his uncle Frank Gordon, the man who wore the ring. Nygma takes Cobblepot to the harbor docks in order to kill him. Cobblepot continues pleading that he created him and that he still loves him but Nygma shoots him instead in the stomach and throws his body into the harbor.


  • The episode takes inspiration from the acclaimed comic book Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore. In addition the title references the James McNeill Whistler novel of the same name.
  • Bruce Wayne decides to spare Jerome's life and makes a promise that he will never take a life. This is a major part of Batman's character in the comic books as well as many other adaptations of the character.
  • The episode also plays a couple of homages to Frank Miller's comic book The Dark Knight Returns. The standoff between Bruce and Jerome in the glass house references moments and scenes from the comic, such as Bruce using the mirrors to lure Jerome and cause him to fire upon them, a tactic Batman used against the Joker. Also prior to the glass house standoff, Jerome refers to Bruce as "darling", which Joker also did in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Bruce's ultimate decision not to kill Jerome also resembles the moments where Batman is unable to kill the Joker in both The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke.
  • It is revealed that Alfred doesn't like clowns.
  • The dock scenes featuring Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith were shot at the GMD Shipyard at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.[4]



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